8 January 2018

Pakistan Says Alliance With U.S. Is Over

by Saeed Shah 

The U.S. failed to behave as an ally and turned Islamabad into a “whipping boy” for its own shortcomings in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s foreign minister said, after the Trump administration suspended security-related aid to the country. “We do not have any alliance” with the United States, Khawaja Muhammad Asif said in an interview Friday. “This is not how allies behave.” Washington said Thursday that security assistance to Islamabad was on hold until the Pakistani government took “decisive action” against terror groups on its territory, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. The announcement followed a tweet from President Donald Trump earlier this week alleging that Pakistan gives “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.” Islamabad denied his claim and has long decried similar allegations.

Mr. Asif said Pakistan’s recent counter-terrorism operations—including those in the tribal areas that border Afghanistan—has cleared the country of both the organized presence of militants and areas where they might seek sanctuary as peace returns.

But Taliban fighters still slip through and meld into its large Afghan refugee population, he said. There are 1.4 million such refugees currently living in Pakistan, according to the United Nations…

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